Champions League Reinforces Need For Man United To Clear Deadwood

FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi, in particular, gave Manchester United a footballing lesson as they dumped The Red Devils out of the Champions League this week.

It’s true that Man Utd have progressed under new boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and that he’s turned things around since his arrival in December, with United at a low ebb under former gaffer Jose Mourinho.

But on Tuesday night it was clear to everyone that Man United are still far from being major challengers on the European stage.

After the game, Solskjaer warned his squad (Source -BBC Sport):

“Most of the players have really impressed me with their attitude,” 

“But of course there are some that need to get a reality check on where they’re at.”

A big thing that needs to happen, in my opinion, is that Ole needs to overhaul the squad and in particular the manager needs to clear out the deadwood that currently reside in the Old Trafford dressing room.

When I look at the Red Devils squad, I feel that they need to concentrate mainly on rebuilding the defence and bring in new midfield faces. The team needs a new spine and foundation to build from.

If they can tie down David de Gea and keep Sergio Romero happy staying as a number two, then I wouldn’t change the goalkeeping department.

In defence, I’d only keep Chris Smalling, Luke Young, Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof and Ashley Young.

Veteran Young would be used mainly as a back-up full-back. He would be a bridge between the current era and the successful Sir Alex Ferguson period. He’s still smart enough to play in that role and will always give 100% but players like Dalot, Shaw and a new right-back are the future and should be the ones that get more first team opportunities over Ashley.

This season has kind of shown us that club captain Antonio Valencia no longer seems to be physically up to the challenge of being at a top club that play two games a week for most of the season. The Ecuadoran deserves a swan-song at Old Trafford before the season ends but he doesn’t merit a new deal.

Italian defender Matteo Darmian seems to be a player that wants desperately to be back in his homeland.  The full-back hasn’t been a regular starter since his debut season in 2015-16 and must be frustrated by his lack of first team opportunities.

I’m still scratching my head as to why United gave Phil Jones a new contract lasting up to 2023, according to Goal.com. Jones has never truly fulfilled his potential and has since become too injury prone. He looked very much out of his depth against Barca and has become a liability when he starts in the backline in big games.

When talking about injuries, Marcos Rojo is another defender that United simply can’t rely on. The Argentine international has made just 13 Premier League appearances in the last two seasons. Even when fit, he’s a player that struggles to really get to grips with one position and seems like a player that doesn’t know if he’s better as a centre-half or as a left-back. Probably time for him to go.

I really hoped that Eric Bailly would’ve turned a corner, like Lindelof has, when Ole took over the reigns at Old Trafford. But alas the Ivorian’s confidence looks shot and the weight of expectation to perform to a certain high standard seems to weigh down on him at United. More mistakes seem to be creeping into his game and he’s another one that seems ready to pick up a new injury at the drop of a hat.  He could still be a very good defender but I think he needs a clean start elsewhere to stand a chance of showing us how good he can be.

So if Manchester United were to get rid of all those players, I think they’ll want two or three centre-backs as well as a strong right-back to come in.

In midfield, they also have issues.

Paul Pogba, I’d definitely keep but only on the basis that the Frenchman’s committed to Man United’s cause. The player wasn’t good enough against PSG or in the 2nd leg of the game at the Camp Nou but he has been sensational in the most part this season and has a great scoring and assist record this term too.

I think defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic still has more in the tank and should still be a Red Devils beyond this season. He’s a player that gives the team defensive balance and experience.

It makes a lot of sense to me for the club to keep young midfielders Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira. Both have plenty to offer and can be fine squad players. McTominay was a star in his team’s 2nd leg win over PSG and equipped himself well against Barcelona in the first game against them too.

I wouldn’t necessarily call Juan Mata or Ander Herrera deadwood but I don’t think either are worth new bumper contracts. Both have deals that run out in the summer and it might be best to let the Spaniards depart. Mata isn’t fast enough for what Solskjaer’s looking for in his team and Herrera can be replaced with a hungrier, younger model (in my opinion).

Brazilian midfielder Fred is a funny one and to be honest I’m still unsure. I do believe that there’s a player in there and he has a lot of good attributes. I think a lot of his issues stem from getting adjusted to the English game and rebuilding his confidence. Unfortunately he has also made some strange mistakes and how long can United give him to bed in? If I were Solsjkaer I’d be hoping for a much more effective Fred to turn up at preseason.

In attack, I think Man United are at their strongest.

I think the opportunity is there to have Anthony Martial, Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford really compete with each other to see who will finish next season as the club’s top scorer.

Jesse Lingard is a player who will give everything for the badge and his work ethic is huge in big games.

I would only offload Alexis Sanchez at this stage. The Chilean has been a costly error in United’s recent transfer strategy. He hasn’t been anywhere as good at Old Trafford as he was with Arsenal. He doesn’t create enough for others and he also doesn’t get enough goals either. If they can get someone to take on his wage, then I’d bite their hand off and drive him to the airport.

I also hope that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brings through Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes and Tahiti Chong and gives the youngsters more first team opportunities next term.

It could and should be a huge summer for Manchester United. They need to bring in top talent that can hopefully get them challenging for major titles next season.

But a big part of that could also be down to Man United being able to sell off the deadwood that has kept them back in recent years.

 

Spurs Should Target Sébastien Haller & Give Themselves More Attacking Options

Tottenham Hotspur are once again having to cope without their talismanic striker Harry Kane.

A season doesn’t seem to go by without England’s main frontman succumbing to yet another injury. This is his second spell out this term and it’s not at the best possible time either, given that Spurs are trying to remain in the Premier League’s top four positions and are still fighting in the Champions League too.

Now don’t get me wrong Son Heung-Min has stepped up to the plate, the South Korean has bagged twelve league goals. Plus Brazilian Lucas Moura has scored important goals at various times, including his recent hat-trick against Huddersfield Town. But neither player is an out and out striker!

Veteran hitman Fernando Llorente can still make an impact on games but that’s usually from the bench and not really with a scoring prowess, he’s more of a battering ram that creates havoc in the opposition penalty area.

Now some forwards might look at potentially going to Tottenham and be put off by Kane’s presence. He’s the top striker there and others might think that they won’t get a look in.

But this season, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has played with two up-front on eighteen occasions thus far.

It would be all about bringing in the right attacker to help plug that gap, having a striker that’s happy to play alongside Kane as his feeder and also be the main man if Harry gets his yearly knock.

Eintracht Frankfurt player Sébastien Haller could be an ideal prospect for Tottenham Hotspur.

The twenty-four year old Frenchman has excelled for the Bundesliga side this season. He’s scored fourteen league goals and he’s also added five more strikes in the Europa League.

Not bad when you consider that Frankfurt’s main marksman is the highly rated Luka Jovic. The young Serbian has banged in a combined total of twenty-five goals already during this campaign. His form has seen him heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid in the summer, with Marca believing that the fee will be around €70m.

Haller has no issues with Jovic being the star striker, in fact the French forward has been a big reason for Luka’s progress. As well as grabbing his own goals, Haller has also created  twelve assists for teammates.

As his assists stats suggest, Sébastien can link up well with those around him and he has the ability to hold the ball up in the final third. He likes laying it off to those in midfield (Could be good for Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli) and he also has the insight to create lovely wee flick-ons for players to run onto.

The striker is terrific in the air and that could be very advantageous for this current Spurs side. He’s also very strong and can muscle his way beyond opponents.

He does seem to have the ideal attributes when you think of a player that could succeed in the Premier League.

As well as proving himself in German, Haller also had a successful scoring spell in the Eredivisie with FC Utrecht. The forward also scored thirteen times in twenty Under-21 appearances for France.

That shows us that he can adapt well to different surroundings.

While it’s very true that Les Bleus coach Didier Deschamps has an array for attacking riches to choose from at the moment, personally I think Sébastien Haller must be in the running for his senior cap in the near future.

It won’t necessarily be easy for Tottenham to convince Eintracht Frankfurt into selling the striker, especially if they sell Jovic in the summer.

The fee could be around €40m and rising and Serie A giants Juventus have also been linked with a move for the player (Via Football Italia).

The striker himself has hinted that he’s happy in Germany and won’t move until the time is right (Source -Goal.com):

“I would never switch to the Premier League just to play there. It has to make sense to me,”  

“And it has to be the right time for me.”

“At the moment, I’m in Frankfurt, and I am very happy here. The Europa League contributes to this. It has already given me great moments and memories.”

None of that should stop Tottenham Hotspur from making an enquiry.

I think Sébastien Haller could be an ideal signing for The Lilywhites and who knows maybe the summer will be the right time for him to make his move!

 

 

Nikola Milenkovic Still Seems To Be An Ideal Target For Manchester United

As the summer transfer window gets ever closer, big clubs like Manchester United will be targeting players that will improve their chances for challenging for silverware next season.

United clearly need more defensive reinforcements to be brought in to improve their backline. No club in the Premier League’s top six has conceded more than the Red Devils’ forty-four goals!

New permanent boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping that his club’s hierarchy can bring in at least two new defenders to help things at the back.

With it looking increasingly likely that club captain Antonio Valencia will depart on a free transfer in June, the need for a new right-back to challenge Diogo Dalot could be vital.

In the centre-back position, Man Utd need stronger characters than they’ve currently got. There seems to be a bit of deadwood in that area and quite a few that can play in that role seem to be injury prone.

Back in January, Serie A side Fiorentina stated that they rejected a bid from the Old Trafford side for defender Nikola Milenkovic (Source Manchester Evening News):

“We rejected great offers from Lyon for [Jordan] Veretout, from Marseille for [Giovani] Simeone and from Manchester United for Nikola Milenkovic,”

I believe it could be in United’s best interests to try an resurrect the deal in the summer. The Viola have tailed off in the second half of this season, and look to be finishing in a mid table position. That could see the Italian side being more forthcoming in selling the defender if the price is right.

Milenkovic has made more than forty appearances for club and country this term, playing as both a centre-half and as a right-back.

Being only twenty-one, he’s of the young age that United like when they are looking at players. He’s got plenty of potential and is already used to playing in a top continental league and for the Serbia national team.

Nikola is a very accomplished and versatile defender.

The Fiorentina man has the ball skills, pace and the composure of a young Rio Ferdinand. Plus he has the grit, determination and the physicality that is reminiscent of his compatriot Nemanja Vidic.

Milenkovic doesn’t seem to get easily flustered and that could be a real bonus for the young talent if he were to end up at Old Trafford given their defensive woes so far this term.

United need more pace, awareness and power at the back and, for me, Nikola Milenkovic would give them that and a whole lot more.

In his twenty-eight Italian top flight appearances this term, the youngster has a 77/5% passing success rate and makes around 1.8 tackles per outing. he’s pretty decent in the air, with Whoscored stating that he’s made 3.9 clearances and won 3.1 aerial duels!

In purchasing Nikola Milenkovic, Manchester United would be getting a 2 in 1 defender and that kind of defensive versatility could be key if injuries strike next term!

Mo Salah’s Timely Return To Form Could Guide Liverpool To Their First Premier League Title

It’s been a pretty gloomy 2019 for Mohamed Salah, especially when you compare his form to that of 2018.

Yet in the last few weeks the Liverpool forward has shown us that he could be on there verge of becoming a talismanic figure again for the Anfield side and it could be happening at a perfect time for the club as they head into the final stretch of the Premier League title race.

We all know Liverpool haven’t won the Premier League since it’s formation in 1992 and the Reds are currently vying for England’s top price with current champions Manchester City.

Jurgen Klopp’s men hold a slight advantage as they are two points ahead of their rivals but City do have a game in hand. It could be vital for both sides that they don’t slip up between now and the end of the season.

With that in mind, you need your best players to flourish and see you through the harder encounters that you come up against.

That’s why Salam’s most recent performances in the league could give Liverpool a massive boost as they prepare for their final four league games this term,

The Egyptian star had gone six games between the 10th of February and the 5th of April without hitting the back of the net. The forward was snatching at chances and looked to be at a low ebb. The constant questioning about his form from the media didn’t help things. Obviously that kind of form would’ve also worried the Reds support and the rest of his teammates.

Thankfully Sadio Mane has been in fairly consistent goalscoring form in 2019.

But against Southampton in the 5th of April, Salah grabbed the game’s second strike as Liverpool beat the Saints in a 3-1 victory. You could see that the goal took a weight off of Salam’s shoulders.

Yesterday was a huge game as The Reds welcomed Champions League chasing Chelsea to Anfield. Man City had won earlier in the day and that put the pressure onto Klopp’s men as they looked to restore their points advantage over Pep Guardiola’s side.

Chelsea came with a game plan that ensured they’d be tough to beat and breakdown.

You could tell that Liverpool were struggling to do just that in the first half as they couldn’t finish any of the various chances they created. Eden Hazard almost sucker punched them but his effort came back off of Alisson’s post.

I’m pretty sure Reds boss Klopp would’ve told his stars to do more of the same and the goals would come.

That’s exactly what happened as Mane struck in the 51st minute. That goal eased the tension.

Then a few minutes late Salah struck a wonderful shot from outside the box with his left foot, giving Chelsea keeper Kepa no chance as it rocketed into the roof of the net. The goal showed that the attacker is back on form and in the right mindset.

In fact you could tell that for most of the game leading up to that moment. Salah continuously looked to get on the ball, run at opposition defenders and try and create openings for himself. He was always buzzing in and round the righthand side of Chelsea’s penalty area.

According to football stats website Whoscored; no player made more shot attempts at goal or had as many as Mo’s three attempts hit the target. He also made four successful dribbles and completed 36 accurate passes.

After the win Jurgen Klopp said this to the Liverpool Echo:

“I said before when you ask me about I have concerns (about Salah).”

“The answer for football is always work-rate, and the work-rate of all three up front today, again, was outstanding.”

That shows you that the German gaffer has never doubted Salah’s ability and always backed him to get back amongst the goals. It’s crazy to think that people have criticised Mohamed’s scoring form this season, yet the forward has scored nineteen league goals and no one has actually bettered that tally!

Mohamed Salah was a live-wire and once again proved that he could handle the big occasions. He delivered when it mattered and that’s what Liverpool need from him and his teammates for the remainder of the season.

His performance against his former employers on Sunday will have the red half of Merseyside once again dreaming and even believing that they can finally end the wait for a Premier League championship triumph!

Spurs’ Alderweireld Could Be As Successful As Campbell If Arsenal Get Him

According to reports in Sunday’s media columns, including in the Daily Mail, Arsenal are plotting a shock summer swoop for Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld.

Looking at it from a purely footballing point of view, you’d suggest that the Belgian international would be making a mistake if he decided to swap White Hart Lane for The Emirates stadium next season.

Spurs are currently in a higher position in the Premier League and have been for the majority of this term, plus they’ve also been highly impressive in this season’s Champions League (a competition The Gunners have failed to qualify for in the last two years)

But football isn’t just a sport these days and players aren’t as committed to teams like they once were, that means that swapping one fierce rival for another isn’t as big a deal to modern day footballers especially if the money is right!

A perfect example of this is when former Spurs captain Sol Campbell left the Lilywhites in the summer of 2001 and signed a Bosman deal to join Arsenal. It was a deal that really worked well for the player and the Gunners as he helped them win two Premier League titles and two FA Cups.

Now the biggest reason if Toby were to end up at The Emirates would be that the wage packet is greater than the one he’s currently getting at Tottenham.

The Belgian has so far failed to agree a new deal with his current employers and in the summer his contract will have a £25m release clause inserted into it.

That’s a fairly modest sum for a top defender these days and the fact that he’s got plenty of English top flight experience will attract clubs like Arsenal too. That lower fee will also mean that potential suitors can dedicate more money to the player’s wage and signing on fee.

Being thirty years of age now, you’ve got to think that Alderweireld will be thinking of getting another lucrative contract before he enters the final years of his career.

I also think that Arsenal’s project under Unai Emery this year will be enough to attract good players like the Belgian international.

The Gunners are just three points away from the top four positions in the Premier League and are still going strong in the Europa League. So if they can secure a place in next season’s Champions League then they’ll again stand a better chance of bringing in better talent.

The club look to be on the up, they’re playing good football and are picking up results in the bigger games too.

They still need another top class centre-half and that could see them push the boat out to get the best possible target into the club.

Emery stated to Talksport back in January that he needed to see improvements in his defence in 2019:

“Our challenge now is to improve defensively,”

“We need defence also to take more balance and improve. We need to work. We need to prepare for the second half of the season.”

I think the Spaniard will still want to bring in a new face to improve that department when the summer transfer window opens.

Other sides might be interest in Toby Alderweireld but Arsenal might head up the queue as Chelsea have been served a transfer ban by FIFA (which they’re appealing) and Manchester United could be looking at younger prospects.

Tottenham Hotspur have to decide if they can offer the Belgian centre-back the deal that he wants or risk watching him play for their rivals.

Arsenal might get a player in Toby Alderweireld (if they sign him) that shores up their defence and if he can do that then he could be as successful as Sol Campbell was for The Gunners.

It could be an explosive signing but it wouldn’t be one that surprises me.

Man United Need Players Like Scott McTominay

Copyright – @mctominay10 

I often think that young players need to do more to get love from the home support.

Some fans feel that it’s much easier to criticise the younger talent rather than blame the star player that cost the club a fortune when things go wrong.

I think that’s sometimes been the case with Scott McTominay at Manchester United. I also think that the midfielder wasn’t helped by the fact that Jose Mourinho often played the Scottish international and complimented him no matter what.

United often looked poor under Jose during his last few months at Old Trafford and you could see that Scott’s confidence was low at that time too.

But like so many others, McTominay has improved again under new boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Norwegian decided to sell Marouane Fellaini in January and keep Scott, who was being linked with a loan move at the same time.

The young midfielder has had to wait for his chances but he has impressed in recent weeks when he’s been called upon.

When Man United were up against it in the Champions League against PSG, McTominay stood out as a defensive stalwart that helped turn the tie around. In that game (according to Whoscored) no player made more successful tackles than McTominay’s five and no United player bettered his 96% passing success rate either.

He gave a mature performance in a huge game and that helped get the fans back on his side.

The Red Devils youth product followed that up with a decent showing in United’s recent Premier League loss to Wolves, where he’d grab his first goal for the club.

Then on Wednesday night, Scott had a standout performance against the mighty FC Barcelona in the Champions League. His high energy approach and harrying of opponents were moments that really caught the eye.

Again United may have lost that match but the central midfielder was composed, he was quick at closing down his illustrious opponents and he was good in the air too.

After the game, United boss Solskjaer was quick to praise to McTominay’s attitude and performance against Barca (Source – Daily Mail):

‘Scott comes into the training ground every day with a fantastic attitude and that’s the way to improve,’ 

‘Every game he plays, he grows and grows – and he was one of the first ones to take the ball down and settle us’

Talk is that Man United are going to be losing midfielders Juan Mata and Ander Herrera in the summer. The future of Paul Pogba is also up in the air.

United may be in need of more midfield recruits come the next transfer window but at least they have a dependable defensive performer in Scott McTominay who can keep his discipline and win the ball back in the engine room.

I’m not saying that the twenty-two year old will be a star player or be an automatic starter at Old Trafford but I do believe that he could become a dependable squad player that can excel in the bigger games much like Darren Fletcher, Phil Neville and John O’Shea did in the past under Sir Alex Ferguson.

McTominay is a young footballer that will give you his all and that will be enough to matter when it really counts!

The Ajax Ace That Could Brighten Up Tottenham’s Right Wing!

Tottenham Hotspur will no doubt be looking at strengthening their squad when the summer transfer window opens.

The Lilywhites have finally moved into their new stadium at White Hart Lane and that’s given the club a much needed lift. But before the big move Mauricio Pochettino’s men had been in a bit of a slump as they went from Premier League title contenders to fighting to stay in the top four.

The North London club recently posted record profits of £113m for the 2017-18 season (Source BBC Sport).

Having not spent a penny in the last two transfer windows. you can tell that the Spurs squad need a bit of a face lift.

A position that could need looked at, as far as manager Pochettino’s concerned, is the attacking right wing role.

After a bright start to the campaign, Lucas Moura has suffered from a slump in form. While Erik Lamela has still struggled to break back into the starting eleven.

Maybe Spurs could look to Ajax in their bid to find a new right sided sensation in David Neres.

The Brazilian attacker is versatile enough to play on either wing, as a number ten or even as a central midfielder. Tottenham coach Pochettino is a keen admirer of young versatile stars. They buy into his project, listen to his instruction and are hungry to prove themselves.

Neres has been particularly strong on Ajax’s right flank. He can cut in onto his left foot or take the ball down the line.

The twenty-two year old is a very exciting talent. He has a good first touch, is very direct, has pace and great dribbling skills that see him get beyond opponents.

This season in thirty-six Ajax appearances, he’s managed to score ten goals and created ten assists. Only Christian Eriksen has created more assists for Spurs this term and only Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min have grabbed more goals.

He produced a very mature performance in his club’s sensational win over Real Madrid in the Bernabeu, helping Ajax knock-out the current Champions League holders in the process. Neres would escape his marker with a smart run, take the ball in his stride before rounding the Real goalkeeper and getting himself on the scoresheet.

His form for the Eredivisie giants has seen the youngster receive his first call-up for Brazil and winning his first cap last month!

Now it should be remembered that the youngster is still a raw talent. He’s came off the bench ten times so far in this campaign, showing us that Ajax are still nurturing his talent and protecting him from the rigours of being a full time regular. Pochettino is a manager known for giving youngsters the chance to shine and still be protective too, a good examples of this is Dele Alli and Harry Winks.

His pace will cause danger in counter attacks and if he were in a Spurs jersey, he’d get the ball into the final third faster and Kane would benefit greatly from that. The Brazilian is also smart enough to thread excellent balls into dangerous areas and that would benefit the Spurs attack, if he were to join them.

If Spurs are looking for a new, young attacking talent that can shine on the wing then I think they should definitely look at bringing in David Neres. He could be a spark that excites fans and gets more goals for the team.

Atletico Madrid Star Could Be An Ideal Man United Signing

Manchester United could be looking at another summer where the top priority is finding midfield reinforcements.

Sky Sports claims that Spanish midfielders Juan Mata and Ander Herrera could both be about to leave Old Trafford when the transfer window reopens. It’s claimed that FC Barcelona are looking at bringing in Mata, while Herrera is being heavily linked with a Bosman move to Ligue 1 champions PSG.

Speculation is also still rife regarding the future of French World Cup winning midfielder Paul Pogba. The player himself has done little to dampen that speculation as he recently came out in the media claiming that Real Madrid are a ‘dream club’ (Source – BBC Sport):

“Real Madrid is one of the biggest clubs in the world. I’ve always said it is a dream club for every player.”

So with all that being considered, it does seem likely that new Man United permanent boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will look at bringing in a midfielder or two to help the team fight for trophies next season.

British media outlet The Metro have recently reported that United are targeting Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez.

First off the Spanish international is a very versatile midfield star. As well as being able to play as a central midfielder, Saul can also play on the lefthand side and on the right. He can sit in as the holding midfielder and as a makeshift left-back if needed.

Niguez might be young at twenty-four years of age but he’s already a vastly experienced performer. He has won two Europa League titles and a Copa del Rey too. The middleman has also won fifteen caps for Spain and it looks as though he is going to be a key player in Luis Enrique’s set-up.

The Atletico star can be a tenacious ball winner, this can sometimes become enthusiastic and see the player get too much attention from the officials. He can also play as a box-to-box type and be a player that can dictate things from the middle. He is good at being the player that transitions the ball from deep to an attacking position with great effect.

Niguez is also developing good timing, when it comes to bursting forward. He probably doesn’t get the amount of goals he should but that could come in time, given his ability to pick the right times to get into the box and shoot from distance.

Man Utd need a versatile player that can read games.

In Nemanja Matic, they have a very disciplined defensive midfielder and in Pogba they’ve got a maverick who likes to venture forward and can’t always be relied upon to stick to a defensive position.

Saul could give Solskjaer the perfect option as the Spaniard can be disciplined when needed but he can also venture forward when called upon too. He would probably offer the Red Devils more balance in midfield when compared to either Mata or Herrera.

The Spanish star is also good in the air and can be efficient when he’s passing the ball. He has a pretty impressive engine that sees him cover every inch of grass during the ninety minutes.

Can Manchester United get the deal done? 

This could be a difficult question to answer.

I bet that the club are interested in the player, as I’ve already stated he has all the attributes needed to improve the United midfield.

But the stumbling block could come in the terms of the fee. The Metro state that the La Liga side will want the full £128m release clause if they are to let the player go and that’s a huge price, maybe just too rich for Man United’s current tastes especially if they don’t reach next season’s Champions League.

In 2017, Saul signed a nine year deal to stay at Atletico and he’s viewed as a cult hero by the Atleti support. That suggests that the Madrid club have the ball firmly in their court when it comes to a potential move involving Saul.

That being said, the player himself has recently moved agents (Via Marca) and that might be a sign that Niguez is eyeing up a move.

It could become an intriguing summer for the young Spanish international.

If Manchester United can get a deal done, then they’d be bringing in a supreme talent in Saul Niguez and a midfielder that would strengthen the Premier League giants no end, in my opinion.

Scottish Duo That Could Keep Arsenal Going In An Upward Trajectory

As summer approaches and teams prepare for the transfer window to open, Premier League side Arsenal have already been linked with a clutch of new players.

Two Scottish stars are rumoured to being topping the North London club’s wanted list.

The Metro have stated that The Gunners want to bring in winger Ryan Fraser from AFC Bournemouth, while The Sun reported last month that Arsenal boss Unai Emery was looking at Celtic and Scotland left-back Kieran Tierney.

Both players would be welcome additions to the Arsenal cause, in my opinion.

Ryan Fraser can play on either wing but has predominately shone on the left-side for The Cherries this season. The Scottish international is also versatile enough to play as a number ten.

Only Eden Hazard and Christen Eriksen have created more than Fraser’s ten Premier League assists this term. He also managed to shine in a Scotland jersey, playing in two Nation Leagues games and scoring once and creating three more assists!

Scotland have a rich tradition of producing quality wingers but as of late the Scots have struggled to bring through consistent attacking wide-men in recent years.

But Ryan has shown us in the last year that he can be a star in England’s top flight. He has also managed to grab six goals. His pace and directness have cause plenty of problems for many a defence this term.

His presence in the Gunners team would give them a a great outlet to either push forward during counter attacks or push stern defences further back when his team are on the front foot.

At Bournemouth, Fraser’s ability to get the ball accurately into the penalty area has seen Cherries boss Eddie Howe get the best out of striker Callum Wilson. If Arsenal were to bring the winger to the Emirates, then Emery would hope that he could create even more chances for prolific hitmen Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

The twenty-five year old has told Sky Sports News that he was extremely flattered to be linked with a move to The Gunners:

“I’m not going to lie, it’s very nice. It means you are are doing something right,”

“They are a huge club, a massive club. When you see your name thrown around you always think to yourself that you are a Bournemouth player and you try to do well.”

“I’m not going to lie, you do feel good, especially when it’s a massive club.”

Arsenal will definitely be losing Aaron Ramsey come the summer. Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan haven’t been on-song this season and both have had their futures questioned in the last six months. While loanee Denis Suarez hasn’t done enough to merit a permanent move.

So the London giants will almost certainly need more attacking reinforcements come the next transfer window. Ryan Fraser, being a star turn in Premier League this year, would give the Gunners a boost in the final third!

I’m also sure that Unai Emery will be on the lookout for a new left-sided full-back.

Nacho Monreal isn’t getting any younger and the thirty-three year old’s contract comes to an end in the summer. Fellow left-back Sead Kolasinac has been a bit of a liability when tasked with more defensive duties.

Celtic star Kieran Tierney is a highly regarded left-back and maybe he could answer Arsenal’s problems.

The twenty-one year old has been a mainstay in the Scottish Premiership champions team for the past four years.

As well as being comfortable when going forward, providing extra width and a good ball into the box, Tierney is also tenacious and disciplined when defending.

Andrew Robertson has been a sensation at Liverpool and many a Scottish fan will tell you that Kieran Tierney also has a lot of talent. There’s not a lot between the two left-backs.

The youngster has also given a string of very competent performances on the European stage, both in the Champions League and Europa League. In 2017, Kieran was named in UEFA’s breakthrough Champions League team of the year!

He’s a player that will give his team 100% every time and who’ll always develop a bond with his club’s support because of his ability and determination.

In the past, Arsenal have had Scottish stars who gave their all for the red and white. Frank McLintock, George Graham and Charlie Nicholas all played for The Gunners with distinction.

I believe that Ryan Fraser and Kieran Tierney could be two current Scottish internationals that would shine at the Emirates if given the chance!

Juventus Defender Leonardo Bonucci Deserves To Be Ridiculed Over Poor Racism Stance

After Juventus recent win over Cagliari, centre back Leonardo Bonucci criticised his own team-mate Moise Kean for his celebration after the striker scored a late goal.

The young forward was being racially abused, scored his goal and celebrated by raising his arms aloft looking at the Cagliari support. That celebration saw Kean receive even more abuse.

After the game, instead of supporting his teammate Bonucci stated (Source – BBC Sport):

“Kean knows that when he scores a goal, he has to focus on celebrating with his team-mates. He knows he could’ve done something differently too.”

“There were racist jeers after the goal. Blaise heard it and was angered. I think the blame is 50-50, because Moise shouldn’t have done that and the Curva should not have reacted that way.”

I am sorry but that’s a ridiculous statement.

Firstly, Bonucci grabbed the game’s first goal and actually ran away from his team-mates. So the veteran didn’t lead by example.

As the more experienced player if Leonardo truly believed that Moise did something wrong, then he should have had a private word but back him wholeheartedly publicly. To basically tell a young player to ignore racist chants, tells you too much about the Italian centre-half and his lack of a moral compass.

He let off the Cagliari fans and has since been ridiculed for his stupid comments.

Leonardo Bonucci has followed that up with a wishy-washy Instagram story that has a picture of the defender and Kean in Italy tops with text saying ‘Regardless of everything, in any case… No to RACISM‘.

It’s all too little too late I’m afraid. You showed your true colours and that you’re not a worthy teammate with your initial response.

The tailor-made PR Insta post is all down to the response from the footballing world (including a sizeable portion of Juve supporters).

England international Raheem Sterling was quick to point out the stupidity of Bonucci’s comments (Via Adam Digby Twitter):

Unfortunately Leonardo’s comments were actually backed up by Juventus boss Massimilano Allegri (Source: The Sun)

“He shouldn’t have celebrated in that manner.”

“You need great intelligence to deal with these situations and should not go to provoke people”

Allegri has thrown his player under the bus. It wasn’t even an over the top or disrespectful celebration. Moses was clearly fizzing and I’m glad he got his goal.

The manager hasn’t been in that situation and can’t relate to it. He may have now damaged his relationship with the young international hitman.

It’s disgusting that in 2019 we can’t all come together and call out racists for being the scum that they are!

Juventus as a football club need to get everyone in and tell them that at Juve you can’t tolerate or justify racism. You also need to back your players and teammates!

The whole club looks bad and it has garnered worldwide attention too.

As institutions I believe Juventus and Serie A need to step forward and back Moise Kean!